CAIRO, Egypt, July 18 – The Africa Cup of Nations final between Algeria and Senegal in Cairo Friday will pit local coaches against each other in a title decider for the first time in 21 years.
Algerian Djamel Belmadi and Senegalese Aliou Cisse are both former national team midfielders whose playing careers included spells with English clubs.
Belmadi was loaned to Manchester City from Marseille in 2003 and later had two seasons with Southampton.
While Cisse spent most of his career at French clubs, he also lined up for Birmingham City and Portsmouth.
Cisse is particularly desperate to win in Cairo as his missed shootout penalty in the 2002 final against Cameroon condemned Senegal to defeat in their only previous final appearance.
The last final featuring two African coaches was in 1998 when Egypt, coached by Mahmoud el Gohary, defeated Ephraim ‘Jomo’ Sono-coached South Africa 2-0 in Ouagadougou.
An endless debate among African football followers is the merits of local and foreign coaches and the Cup of Nations offers no help because foreigners have won 16 titles and locals 15.
Egyptian Hassan Shehata holds the record for consecutive triumphs with three and Ghanaian Charles Gyamfi has also won three, but not in a row.
France-born Herve Renard is the only coach to win with two countries, guiding outsiders Zambia to success in 2012 and repeating the feat with the Ivory Coast three years later.
Cup of Nations-winning coaches
1957 Egypt Mourad Fahmy
1959 Egypt Pal Titkos (HUN)
1962 Ethiopia Ydnekatchew Tessema
1963 Ghana Charles Gyamfi
1965 Ghana Charles Gyamfi
1968 Zaire Ferenc Csanadi (HUN)
1970 Sudan Jirí Starosta (CZE)
1972 Congo Adolphe Bibanzoulou
1974 Zaire Blagoje Vidinic (SRB)
1976 Morocco Gheorghe Mardarescu (ROM)
1978 Ghana Fred Osam-Duodu
1980 Nigeria Otto Gloria (BRA)
1982 Ghana Charles Gyamfi
1984 Cameroon Radivoje Ognjanovic (SRB)
1986 Egypt Mike Smith (WAL)
1988 Cameroon Claude le Roy (FRA)
1990 Algeria Abdelhamid Kermali
1992 I. Coast Yeo Martial
1994 Nigeria Clemens Westerhof (NED)
1996 S. Africa Clive Barker
1998 Egypt Mahmoud el-Gohary
2000 Cameroon Pierre Lechantre (FRA)
2002 Cameroon Winfried Schaefer (GER)
2004 Tunisia Roger Lemerre (FRA)
2006 Egypt Hassan Shehata
2008 Egypt Hassan Shehata
2010 Egypt Hassan Shehata
2012 Zambia Herve Renard (FRA)
2013 Nigeria Stephen Keshi
2015 I. Coast Herve Renard (FRA)
2017 Cameroon Hugo Broos (BEL)
Winning coaches by nationality
5: Egypt, France
2: Hungary, Serbia
1: Algeria, Belgium, Brazil, Congo Brazzaville, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Germany, Ivory Coast, Netherlands, Nigeria, Romania, South Africa, Wales